Sirisena was declared the winner after receiving 51.28% of all votes cast compared to Rajapaksa's 47.58%. The result was generally seen as a shock. When Rajapaksa called the election in November 2014 he had looked certain to win. On 11 January 2015 the new government announced a special investigation into allegations of an attempted coup by Rajapaksa.
20 October: Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella confirmed that the election would be held in January 2015.
5 November: Rajapaksa sought the Supreme Court's opinion on whether he could stand for re-election.
20 November: Rajapaksa issued a proclamation calling for a presidential election at which he would seek re-election.
21 November: Sri Lanka Freedom Party general secretary Maithripala Sirisena defects to the opposition and announces he would run against Mahinda Rajapaksa in the coming election. Election commissioner
Mahinda Deshapriya announces that nominations would be taken on 8 December 2014 and that the election would be held on 8 January 2015.
8 December: Nominations period opens by the Elections Department on 8 December 2014, all of which were accepted.
23–24 December: Postal voting held begins for two days.
8 January: Election day. Polling stations opened at 07:00 (01:30 UTC) and closed at 16:00 (10:30 UTC).
9 January: Rajapaksa concedes defeat ahead of the final result
9 January: Around 8:06 (2:36 UTC) Election commissioner confirmed Maithripala Sirisena as the new elected President.